Friday, April 10, 2015

tend the roots

Picture by Tabitha Stevens

This week we had to begin mowing the yard. Mowing season is here!  My husband had to change out the blades on the mower since one was bent from hitting a tree root last year.  I think I might have done that.   We have some beautiful, tall trees in our front yard.  I love trees. These trees have roots that are spreading out and some of them are sticking up and unfortunately, the mower blades hit those roots.  Roots are very important to a tree or plant.  Roots are how the tree absorbs nutrients and water from the ground. It establishes the tree firmly and provides strength for the tree to stand.

In California, palm trees are abundant.  In some areas, there are palms trees growing in rows.  They are tall and majestic.  When the wind blows, they sway and bend.  Giant leaves may fall, but these palm trees stand.  The roots of palm trees grow straight down almost as deep as the tree is tall. There is strength.
The tallest trees in the world are the mighty redwoods.  I have had the privilege of seeing these trees. They are so big and awe-inspiring. I cannot even describe how big they are. Cars can drive through one that has a tunnel carved through. These trees not only have deep roots, but the roots spread and intertwine with the redwoods next to it.  They wrap around and each other and support one another.  They become a deep and wide support not only for one tree, but for all those around it. Redwoods are not only the biggest, but also some of the oldest on earth. They are established and firm and do not fall for many, many years.

I read this verse today. Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Roots are important spiritually as well. We need roots in the word of God, in Jesus that are deep and wide. Our roots need not only establish us as individuals, but spread to support our brothers and sisters as well. Without roots in the Word of God, in the Spirit of God, and in Him, we cannot survive. We cannot grow or bear fruit.
A pastor I know, Bro. Elzie Quinn, once told a story about a walnut grove near his house.  Some branches of the some of the trees were cut off just as the walnuts were beginning to grow. These branches were left near the road and the walnuts appeared to grow.  One day, he eagerly picked those walnuts on those cut branches and took them home.  He was excited to have some fresh walnuts, but when he cracked them open, there was no meat inside.  They were just empty shells. Without connection to the roots, there was no good fruit.

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
If we are not established in the vine of Jesus, we cannot do anything.  We cannot accomplish anything without Jesus.
We need to establish ourselves in Jesus through the reading of His Word and through prayer and fasting. We are established by bible study and by fellowship. We are established through relationship with Jesus Christ.  Not just on Sunday only, but everyday, every minute, we must be attached to the root of Jesus.  We do not know when the enemy of our soul, may attempt to cause destruction. We do not know when life may take a turn for the worst. We need to always be ready and attached to our source of life, Jesus so we can survive the storms. So we can support those around us. So we can be firm. So we can abound in thanksgiving for being able to withstand all that comes our way.

Psalms 1

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Our spiritual roots need to be strong, deep and wide. Our roots needs to be established in the truth of God. Our roots are weakened by other influences.  There are poisons that destroy roots.  When I want to get rid of weeds, I pull out the roots or spray them with weed killer.  I want to get rid of the root. Once they are sprayed, I can come back later and yank them up.
 The enemy wants to do the same to our roots. He will send distractions, or poisons, that will keep us from reading His word or praying, cause us to doubt its importance, or even tell us it is not necessary.  He will attempt to weaken our roots and make it easier to rip us up from the roots. If he can cause doubt, fear, lack of interest, or outright mistrust, He can separate us from our roots.
We need to be aware that anything that causes our roots to weaken, needs to be put aside. With prayer and a firm foundation in the Word, we can be strong, even when faced with those "poisons."
God is stronger than anything. 1 John 4:4 says You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Mark 4:30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”

I want to be established and rooted so deeply, that even if storms make me sway and leaves may fall, I will not be uprooted. I will still stand firm. I want to be strong enough to reach out and not only serve God, but influence others by supporting and providing the shade of God's love in their lives. Just as the mustard seed in Mark 4 grows so large, it becomes a place of rest and shade for the birds, so our lives should be as well. Roots are not always seen, but the effects of the connections underground are seen in the branches and fruit looming high above the ground.
The fruit and growth seen in our lives, needs to demonstrate the condition of our spiritual roots.
Dear Lord, help me tend to my roots.

1 comment:

  1. The deepest a Redwood or Sequoia root is only about 6 feet down. But they will spread out over 5 acres and intertwine with their neighboring trees. It is the unity that gives them strength to stand year after year. Some are older than the when Jesus was born.


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